Building our Own Patio: 3 Lessons Learned

September 28, 2021 0 By EngineerMommy

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If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you probably know that we built our own patio this past summer. It was a whirlwind. The whole process took a long time and involved plenty of sweat, but we learned a few lessons along the way.

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1. Prepping the land took the most time!
Before we could even lay one brick down, we had to prep the land. This involved shoveling out dirt; this was all on the hubby. We wanted a pretty big space so this step seemingly took forever. In the process of shoveling out the dirt, we had to content with tree roots, branches and even a tree stump. We have quite a few large trees on our property so it was a challenge handling this part. Don’t forget you need to figure out what to do with all the dirt that you’re digging out! Are you going to get it picked up by a landscape company or use it in another part of your yard for something?

2. Get delivery by freight!
While my husband and I like to DIY things around here, it was not an option to go to the local home improvement store and pick up all the supplies for this project. It would have taken probably a few dozen trips to the store! So we ordered all the items online and got them delivered by freight shipping. Sure, it cost an additional fee but it was so worth it. Since you are paying a flat fee for delivery, make sure you calculate everything you’ll need and order it all at once (so you don’t need multiple orders with additional delivery fees.)

3. Don’t forget about the borders!
As you start to lay down your bricks, make sure you have a plan for how to make the edges of the patio fit in nicely with the landscape. We weren’t sure about this at first, but eventually we had to go to Lowe’s to pick up extra supplies. On one edge of the patio, we bought mulch and created a simple little flower bed. On another edge of the patio, we used marble chips to create additional visual interest. Oh, and don’t forget to use landscape edging to contain the marble chips.

Watch this little Instagram video of our patio progress:

This was definitely the biggest outdoor DIY project we took on. While we are happy with the final result, we are not sure it was worth all the work. It took us a few weeks from start to finish, but many days we weren’t able to do anything until my husband was done with work for the day. So if we were able to work on it full-time continuously, it might have taken us maybe 5 days. It is still a project we’re proud of and something that I think will increase the value of our home.

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